The Racist Next Door

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Then there are his enemies to contend with. Vocal critics from the ADL and the Wiesenthal Center routinely recite the evils of Stormfront, arguing that the smart presentation and politically correct language veils the racism and threatens unsuspecting children. "He is showing the way for Klansmen, neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, and other haters who now utilize the World Wide Web to spread their propaganda and seek to attract new members," says Michael Winograd, the associate director of ADL's Florida regional office. "[Black] is a troubling character precisely because he is relatively articulate and intelligent and is not the knuckle-scraping Neanderthal one might expect." Chief on Winograd's list of sources of offensive material are Black's spectrum of links (connections to other Websites) that deny the Holocaust, propound "scientific" racism and revolutionary violence, a graphics library that includes an array of Nazi images from S.S. emblems to swastikas, and the myriad pseudo-intellectual racist essays.

The link to Aryan Nations, which Black designed, frets: "The Jew is like a destroying virus that attacks our racial body to destroy our Aryan culture and the purity of our race. Those of our race who resist these attacks are called 'chosen and faithful.' We believe that there is a battle being fought this day between the children of darkness (today known as Jews) and children of light, the Aryan Race, the true Israel of the Bible."

An essay "Love and Hatred: Two Sides of the Same Coin" on the Website RaHoWa.com (Racial Holy War), another link to Stormfront fashioned by Black, counsels: "The problem is not that people hate, but that they hate the wrong people. For example, due to Jewish mind scrambling, many people hate us -- the very people who are trying to insure that they have a future. On the flip side, many people "love their enemies," the Jews, niggers, and other mud races -- those who seek their destruction. Does it make sense to love your friends and hate your enemies rather than the other way around? Does it not make more sense to destroy your persecutors than to 'pray for them?' Of course it does."

Black says aspiring censors like the ADL and the German government force him to devote a part of every day to defending against cyber-assaults. He frequently gets "e-mail bombed" (a massive chain of e-mails that clog up a system or shut down the server), "ping flooded" (data packets of information that severely slow down communications to the server), and "blue screened" (data sent to overload and crash an operating system). He now uses three servers to protect Stormfront from crashing or being otherwise shoved off-line.

And, with a trace of pride, Black says he's on the verge of taking Stormfront into the Internet's next generation. He expects to stretch its interactive capacity to the edge of current technology by broadcasting audio feeds for a live call-in, radio-type show by mid-February. Thereafter he plans to cram a few dozen followers into his cave-like office to help air weekly shows through the Internet. Other updates in the near future include adding Russian and Italian sections to the international page, which already features racism and revisionism in Spanish and German. The next step -- which Black says could come in the next few years -- is video feeds or Web TV. The Stormfront of today will be clunky in comparison to the flashier video. And Black believes that its message will only become more accessible.

Leaning back in a swivel chair, he says with the hint of a grin curling his lips, "The future's on our side; it's only a matter of time."

"At its core the argument is an old one -- should an incitement to hate be protected by the First Amendment?" harrumphs ABC News Nightline's Ted Koppel. The veteran late-night interrogator introduces the "Hate and the Internet" program, which aired last month, in his signature staccato cadences: "But what used to be limited to pamphlets and leaflets and street-corner ranting, what used to be inhibited by the reluctance of radio and television station owners to lose advertisers or even their licenses, has received an unprecedented shot in the arm from the Internet...."

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David Schwab Abel